Mumbai: Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are premier engineering & technology educational institutes. Also these institutes are well known for their pioneer research work. Out of the 23 IITs at present in India, except few new IITs, most of these institutes offer PhD and research degree programmes. At present IITs admit 3,000-4,000 PhD students per academic year.
Doctoral Programmes in various streams including Science, Technology, Engineering, even Humanities & Management are offered by many IITs. These institutes generally admit students in two sessions or semester (July session and January Session or Autumn and Spring Session) for various doctoral programmes. Hence, IITs notifies admission via their website/national newspapers much ahead of the start of the PhD academic session.
Types of PhD Degree: The PhD programmes are offered in various ways such as Regular, Part Time, Sponsored PhD, PhD for Foreign Nationals, PhD for Institute Staff, etc. There is another PhD category, especially in IITs, Direct PhD (Integrated PhD). Through Direct PhD a meritorious BTech (BSc, B Engineering, etc.) candidate gets direct admission into the research work without Master Degree. After successful completion of PhD degree, the candidate is eligible for both master and doctoral degrees. Some Universities or Institutes also call it Dual Degree PhD as the candidate gets two degrees such as Master and Doctoral after completion of the course.
Fellowships Schemes: There are various fellowship schemes available for research scholars such as Teaching Assistantship (TA) Teaching Assistantship through Project (TAP), Govt./Semi Govt. Fellowship Award QIP, CSIR, UGC, DAE, DST, DBT, NBHM, etc.), Sponsored Candidates (SW), etc. Research Assistantship, Research Assistantship through Project (RAP)
Selection Process: There is no uniform procedure for selecting candidates for doctoral programmes in IITs. However, broadly the selection is based on GATE /NET/Written Test and Interview. Sometimes, department or stream specific requirements exist for admission to research programmes. For some IITs GATE score is not mandatory for admitting PhD programmes. Also, some IITs don’t conduct written test, they select candidates based on GATE/NET score or previous academic performance, for Research Interview phase.
However for availing Govt. Sponsored JRF/Scholarship, GATE score is mandatory.
For December-January session each year, IITs start notifying admission from September month of each year. Meanwhile for July-August session, IITs start notifying admission from March month of each year.
The government is considering a Prime Minister’s Fellowship to encourage bright BTech students to pursue PhD directly without any master degree. The BTech graduates from IITs with good performance can take direct admission into PhD and get the Prime Minister’s Fellowship of Rs 60,000 per month for five years.